On a recent sunny winter afternoon, I found myself on the campus of Winthrop University
in Rock Hill
. I had heard that the college has a stellar art department and decided to check out the gallery space.
As soon as I walked in the building, I knew I had found the right place. A handful of arts students, each endowed with a kind of effortless (if paint-splattered) high-fashion style, were hard at work planning and hanging new examples of high-quality student work in the Lewandowski Student Gallery. It reminded me of what I love about visiting college art galleries; there’s little of the stuffiness you can sometimes find at museums or downtown galleries. You can practically feel the enthusiasm and passion that the students have for their work.
In the beautiful Rutledge Gallery was the 24th Annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition. This year’s juror, Karen Ann Meyers, is the Assistant Director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston
, and she handpicked a wonderful selection of work. You can see what you think by visiting now through March 30.
Upstairs in the Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery is an exhibit of Indrani Nayar-Gall’s "Conjoined Opposites." This haunting work explores the artist’s interest in migration and identity. From the ceiling hang swaths of woven fabric that seem to stand in for human bodies. A computer installation nearby is accompanied by the sound of voices telling stories of loss and displacement. The work is abstract, and if you don’t immediately respond to the work, give it a few minutes. As you stare at Nayar-Gall’s work the words of those voices wash over you and heighten the impact of the piece. This evocative exhibit runs through March 30.
On Feb. 28 from 8 to 10 p.m., Winthrop is hosting a special event. "Transformative Art & Activism in a Global Context" will include the unveiling of another art installation by Indrani Nayar-Gall titled “Losing Dawn” at the DiGiorgio Student Center Main Lobby. The evening will begin with a performance of Cyrus Art Productions’ "Middle Passage Part I: Traveler,” which explores the shifting idea of identity in the African-American community. The unveiling will follow the performance, and Nayar-Gall will talk about her work.
The months ahead also will feature two thesis exhibits by M.F.A. students Jessica Reynolds and Stephen Lursen. Reynolds’ exhibit will be held April 16-23 and Lursen’s from April 26-May 4. For a preview, check out a video
of Lursen’s mixed media work.
Visiting the Winthrop University Galleries really is a treat. If you do visit, park by the clock tower and look for the green spaces marked “visitor.”
For more information on the arts at Winthrop, click here